Washington, D.C. -- Federal funds have been made available by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help Texas battle the uncontrolled Chicken fire located in Nacogdoches County.
According to the agency, the state's request for federal fire suppression aid was approved last night after it was reported that the blaze had caused the evacuation of about 100 homes in a subdivision of Melrose. The fire, which started last Tuesday, had consumed 400 acres of land at the time of the request.
In addition to the Chicken fire, federal funding was authorized earlier this year for the Bob's Trail fire in Bastrop County, the Purgatory fire in Comal County and the Saddleback fire in Wise County.
Under the authorizations, FEMA will pay 70 percent of the state's eligible firefighting costs that are above $355,097. The figure, called a floor cost, is derived through a formula based on the state's five-year annual average cost for fighting fires.
Federal fire suppression aid is provided through the President's Disaster Relief Fund and made available by FEMA to assist in fighting fires when they threaten to cause a major disaster. Eligible state firefighting costs covered by the aid can include expenses for field camps; equipment use, repair and replacement; tools, materials and supplies; and mobilization and demobilization activities.